Pushing the envelope has long been a part of the NASCAR strategy for Jimmie Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus. When they were dealt two straight warnings at Charlotte during the Sprint All-Star race and Coca-Cola 600, the team was initially penalized for the Dover race.
Instead, the team appealed the findings and kept its pit stall for the Dover race—which Johnson won. On Tuesday afternoon, he won his appeal and the penalty was ultimately thrown out after the National Motorsports Appeals Panel found there was conflicting evidence in the reports.
“In the hearing, there was a preponderance of evidence presented that the side skirt violation which led to a warning did occur,” A report from NASCAR read. “There was conflicting evidence about the inspection violation which led to the second warning instead of preponderance.
“Since only one of the two violations were shown by a preponderance of the evidence, the panel rescinds the P1 penalty.”
The panel consisted of Richard Gore, the owner of Old Dominion Raceway, David Hall, the former president of Gaylord Communications Group, and Jay Signore, the former president of International Race of Champions.
Johnson was able to keep his pit stall for Dover and Pocono. After winning his appeal, he will also be able to keep his selection for Michigan and future races. It’s not a huge coo for the No. 48 team, but it certainly helped to have his stall selection for Dover, a short track known for having a difficult pit road. Just ask Brad Keselowski.
“Definitely we don’t agree with what has happened and getting the letters and that’s why the appeal has taken place,” Johnson said before the appeals process.
“I look forward to the appeal process running its course, and respect it and certainly hope for a different outcome once everything has run its course.”
He might have been given a pass for the Charlotte penalties, but Johnson might not be off the hook just yet. The No. 48 machine flunked three pre-race inspections at Pocono before being cleared. NASCAR will likely make an announcement on any penalties from Pocono on Wednesday afternoon.
With four wins this season, everything seems to be going right for Six-Time. Heading to Michigan, where he won last spring, things are looking up again after NASCAR sided with him and Hendrick Motorsports on the Charlotte appeal.
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